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All the weekend news

The Giro d’Italia is all wrapped up for this year with the win going to Egan Bernal. All the results and video from Italy, plus the Critérium du Dauphiné, Thüringen Ladies Tour and the Boucles de la Mayenne. Lefevere on Sagan – TOP STORY. Caleb Ewan returns, Peter Sagan to Total Direct Energie, Lennard Kämna extends, spectator liable for Flanders collision and unclipped with Giacomo Nizzolo. Monday coffee time.

top story
TOP STORY: Lefevere on Sagan (again): “Our collaboration will be for a next life”
Peter Sagan has been frequently associated with Deceuninck – Quick-Step recently, but in all likelihood he will not be going to the Belgian team. Team manager, Patrick Lefevere wrote in his weekly column in Het Nieuwsblad. “To tell the whole story: it all started with our contract extension with bicycle manufacturer Specialized. They will be part of our project until 2027, which will make it one of the longest-running partnerships in the WorldTour. As part of the contract talks, our owner Zdenek Bakala was talking with Mike Sinyard, Specialized’s CEO. That’s where the name Peter Sagan came up.”

“Specialized has had a personal sponsorship deal with him for years and Zdenek also thought it was a good idea that Peter would ride for our team. Everything fitted together well, but I immediately put on the brakes.” This is mainly because Lefevere ‘doesn’t want a team in his team.’ “That cannot be reconciled with the Wolfpack philosophy,” he said.

“Sagan’s personal manager is Giovanni Lombardi, an ex-track rider and thus by definition of the nervous type,” continued Lefevere. “He wanted to talk as soon as possible and we did. He assured me that the eleven entourage was not set in stone. For a number of people, solutions had already been found elsewhere, so that the package ‘Sagan plus eight’ was on the table. Until recently I heard from Lombardi that a team was willing to take everyone on board.”

“I also read that it would be Direct Energy, but to be honest: I don’t know. In any case, Sagan’s preference goes out to that new team and that argues for his loyalty. He wants as many people around him as possible. Too bad, but unfortunately: our cooperation will be for a next life.”

Other contract discussions will continue. “In the first instance I talk to the guys from the team who want to extend. This week with Florian Sénéchal and in the Centro di Alto Rendimiento on the Sierra Nevada, I previously sat together with Mattia Cattaneo and Fabio Jakobsen. A few talks are also planned in the Giro on Sunday.”

There have been many requests from riders to join the Lefevere team “Also from riders who left us earlier. They now urge to return.” The experienced team manager takes his time. “It is not the intention to sign 27 names by the end of May. Real opportunities often arise at the end of the year. I would prefer to have a little budget left.”

Not Deceuninck for Sagan:
giro21 sagan


giro 21
Giro d’Italia 2021
Alberto Bettiol now has a stage of the Giro d’Italia to his name. The EF Education-Nippo Italian was part of the early break and managed to catch and pass Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) in the finalé of Stage 18 to then solo to stage victory. Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) had no problem holding his overall lead.


After more than 30 kilometres, a large leading group was formed, but initially the 23 didn’t get very far. In the peloton, several counter attacks tried to cross to the leading group, but the men from BORA-hansgrohe put a stop to it. With just over 170 kilometres to go, finally the peloton let the break go. INEOS decided to control the peloton and the lead of the front group continued to fluctuate around 7 minutes. The Spaniard Gorka Izagirre was the best placed rider in the early break in 24th place on GC. The Astana-Premier Tech rider was already almost an hour down on the pink jersey. After a while, INEOS gave up and the escape started the last 60 kilometres with a good 15 minutes lead.

The break: Nikias Arndt, Nico Denz and Nicolas Roche (DSM), Wesley Kreder (IWG), Rémi Cavagna (DQS), Alberto Bettiol (EF1), Samuele Rivi and Francesco Gavazzi (EOK), Jacopo Mosca (TFS), Andrii Ponomar, Natnael Tesfatsion and Simon Pellaud (ANS), Samuele Battistella and Gorka Izagirre (AST), Simone Consonni (COF), Dario Cataldo (MOV), Alessandro Covi and Diego Ulissi (UAE), Stefano Oldani (LTS), Filippo Zana (BAR), Gianni Vermeersch (ALF), Andrea Vendrame (ACT) and Patrick Bevin (ISN).

With 35 kilometres to go, the front group hit the Montù Beccaria (3.4km at 4.1%), the first climb of the day. Samuele Battistella was the first to attack. Filippo Zana jumped after him. Nico Denz saw the danger and managed to make the crossing on his own, although the time difference was small. The first attack attempts by Battisella, Zana and Denz were nipped in the bud. The next attack came from Patrick Bevin together with Alberto Bettiol, Stefano Oldani, Jacopo Mosca, Nicolas Roche and Gorka Izagirre. Surprisingly Diego Ulissi was missing. On the climb to Castana (5.3km at 3.9%), Bettiol rode a high pace and the winner of the 2019 Tour of Flanders put his escape companions on the rack. In the chasing group Ulissi jumped across to the Bettiol group. There was a moment of calm and this was the moment for Rémi Cavagna to make his move, no one was willing to chase, which allowed Cavagna to continue to take time. Cavagna’s lead kept getting bigger and so Bettiol had to do something. The strong Italian tried to catch Cavagna with Roche, but they were stuck at about 20 seconds.

After the technical descent from Castana, Cavagna was still in the lead. He pushed his lead to more than 30 seconds, but the Frenchman still had to survive two short climbs to the finish. Bettiol kept up the pressure behind Cavagna on the penultimate climb and managed to cut Cavagna’s lead to 15 seconds, but the Frenchman refused to give in and dug deeper. Bettiol caught his breath again, as he was rejoined by Roche. Cavagna had a small lead as he started the last climb which summited about 5.5 kilometres from the finish. On the Caneto Pavese (2.6km at 5.7%), Roche was dropped by Bettiol and the Italian bridged the gap to Cavagna. The Deceuninck – Quick-Step rider managed to hold the Italian, but there was a second attack from Bettiol. Cavagna came to a complete stop and the Italian took flight for good. In the last hundreds metres Bettiol was able to celebrate his first stage victory in the Giro d’Italia. Simone Consonni sprinted to second place, ahead of Roche. The peloton crossed the line 20 minutes later. Egan Bernal kept the pink jersey without any problems.

# See the full ‘PEZ Stage Report’ and photo gallery HERE. #


Stage winner, Alberto Bettiol (EF Education First-Nippo): “Winning the Tour of Flanders changed my life but I needed to deliver more. I wanted to come back to the Giro and win on home soil. Today was a unique opportunity. I had many friends in the breakaway but I didn’t speak much with them, I remained focused. I knew I could climb better than Cavagna but I had to win the mental game by dropping him straight away. In the third week of a Grand Tour we’re all tired so the mental side of things makes the difference. In the past, I’ve wanted to be a super hero but I’ve learnt that cycling requires humility. This sport teaches you about losing more than winning, unless your name is Merckx. I wasn’t upset on the finishing line, I was super happy.”

Maglia Rosa, Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers): “I hope I have recovered from the suffering yesterday. But it is hard to say because it was a fast start and I stayed on the wheels. I felt better than yesterday on the bike. It’s something special to be the Colombian with the most Maglia Rosa in history but the most important thing is to wear it in Milan. I cannot say that I’m super confident because in the past we’ve seen that anything can happen in the last few days. I know tomorrow’s climb and I expect to have some fans from Piemonte as it’s where I grew up as a cyclist. It’ll be a nice stage and I hope to do well. It’ll be another test though.”

9th on the stage, Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “The goal was to join the break, because it was the last opportunity to try something. When I attacked, I gave everything and had a solid gap with 15 kilometres to go, which made me believe in my chances, but I missed something in the end. I knew there were better climbers than me in the group and you could see that. Nevertheless, I enjoyed being at the front today, although the result was frustrating.”

Points leader, Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe): “Today was an important stage and the key was not to lose points for the ciclamino jersey. We kept under control the sprinters that were close in the points classification and held on to the ciclamino. On Friday and Saturday, we have two hard mountain stages.”

23rd on the stage, Wesley Kreder : “The initial plan was to have Andrea Pasqualon or Quinten Hermans in the breakaway, as this stage suited them well. But instead, I was the only one who made it in the right breakaway. The final turned out to be too difficult for me. I felt from the first climb that it would not be possible to compete with the best climber-punchers of the breakaway. It’s a shame because I would have liked to sacrifice myself for one of my teammates. Despite that, I am happy that I was able to at the front of the race on my very first Grand Tour. I did not insist in the final because I know that there are difficult days that separate us from the arrival in Milan.”

Giro d’Italia Stage 18 Result:
1. Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education-Nippo in 5:14:43
2. Simone Consonni (Ita) Cofidis at 0:17
3. Nicolas Roche (Irl) DSM
4. Nikias Arndt (Ger) DSM
5. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
6. Samuele Battistella (Ita) Astana-Premier Tech
7. Filippo Zana (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizanè
8. Natnael Tesfazion (Eri) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
9. Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:24
10. Jacopo Mosca (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 1:12.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 18:
1. Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) INEOS Grenadiers in 77:10:18
2. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain Victorious at 2:21
3. Simon Yates (GB) BikeExchange at 3:23
4. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech at 6:03
5. Hugh Carthy (GB) EF Education-Nippo at 6:09
6. Romain Bardet (Fra) DSM at 6:31
7. Daniel Martinez Poveda (Col) INEOS Grenadiers at 7:17
8. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 8:45
9. Tobias Foss (Nor) Jumbo-Visma at 9:18
10. Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-up Nation at 13:37.

Giro’21 stage 18:


Simon Yates (BikeExchange) attacked on the final climb of the Alpe di Mera for the Stage 19 win and took back time on overall leader, Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers). Yates is now 20 seconds from second placed Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious) and 2:49 on Bernal.


Only after 43 kilometres did the ‘break of the day’ come about. Quinten Hermans and Andrea Pasqualon joined forces with Larry Warbasse, Nicola Venchiarutti, Giovanni Aleotti and Mark Christian. Oscar Riesebeek tried to cross to the leading group as did Samuele Zoccarato. However, it was too much and they were caught. The six riders took a 4 minute lead in the run-up to the Alpe Agogna, the first climb of the day. Christian was first over the top, ahead of Venchiarutti and Pasqualon. Due to the pace set by Rémi Cavagna, Mikkel Honoré and Iljo Keisse, the gap to the leading group started to decrease and the peloton split on the run-in to the intermediate sprint. Pasqualon took the intermediate sprint and jumped to 6th place in the points classification. The peloton rode steadily in the run-up to the Passo della Colma. Venchiarutti was dropped from the leading group. At the top, 38 kilometres from the finish, Warbasse was first ahead of Hermans. The lead of the five attackers was only 1:20. In the peloton INEOS Grenadiers took control together with Deceuninck – Quick-Step. The leaders had 17 seconds when they started the climb to Alpe di Mera with 9.7 kilometres to go. Christian didn’t want to give up and rode away after the first kilometre of climbing. The eolo-Kometa rider form the Isle of Man wasn’t ahead of the peloton for much longer and the race was all together for the final climb. João Almeida opened the action with 6.8 kilometres to go, after which Yates counter-attacked together with George Bennett, Aleksandr Vlasov and Damiano Caruso.

Bernal chose his own pace and sat on the wheels of his two teammates; Jonathan Castroviejo and Daniel Martínez. Yates then rode the others off his wheel and continued solo and quickly took a nice gap. Carthy made the jump to Almeida, Vlasov and Caruso, but Martínez managed to pull the four in again. Yates was still pushing on solo. With 2.5 kilometres to go, Bernal was on his own. The Colombian only had Almeida on his wheel, it was too much for the others. Yates had a nice lead and, despite a late counterattack from Almeida, he won the stage. In the general classification Yates is now at 2:49 to Bernal, and the difference to second placed Caruso, who finished fourth, is only 20 seconds.

# See the full ‘PEZ Stage Report’ and photo gallery HERE. #


Stage winner and 3rd overall, Simon Yates (BikeExchange): “I’m really happy. The team did a fantastic job today. We controlled the start, rode well behind and then I finished it off. I saw the boys from Ineos were just happy to ride at tempo behind so I had a feeling they would let me go today. It was not the most difficult stage. It’ll be different tomorrow at a higher altitude. I don’t have any regrets for the way I rode on the first week, I had some little problems and I think I managed everything the best I could. The gap to the Maglia Rosa is still quite important but I am closer to Caruso now who is in second place.”

Maglia Rosa and 3rd on the stage, Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers): “For me, the most important thing is to have the Maglia Rosa in Milan. When I have the legs, I like to attack. But now there’s one rider stronger than me and it’s Simon Yates. I want to keep the time I gained earlier in the Giro because that’s the fruits of great team work so I don’t want to make any mistakes that could ruin everything. Today I took one step further towards that final win. It was an important day for us after what happened two days ago. Now I’m confident ahead of tomorrow’s stage, which I’ll enjoy riding at a higher altitude. I want to arrive at the ITT with some extra energy.”

2nd on the stage and 8th overall, João Almeida (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “First of all, I want to thank the entire team, they were incredible and did a perfect job for me today. I felt good and confident, so I attacked early to see what could happen. To be up there again with the other GC guys on this hard climb was nice and showed that I have good legs at the moment. It’s a pity I missed the win and took second again, but on the other hand, I gained more time in the standings, which bodes well for the remaining stages, where we’ll see what I will be able to do.”

Quinten Hermans (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “The GC guys had clearly set their sights on this stage and we knew the chances of the breakaway would be slim. Yesterday’s stage was my last chance to win, but I wanted to honour the team colours up front. Secretly, there is always hope that the peloton will let go. Our lead group was interesting in itself, but maintaining the gap with six riders is very difficult. After three weeks, I have not weakened in my sensations and I still feel very good. I hope to be able to say that after tomorrow’s stage, because the effort made today will inevitably weigh in the legs. Whatever happens, I will come out of this Giro a better rider. An experience like this will be of great benefit for the future.”

Giovanni Aleotti (BORA-hansgrohe): “I think it was a good day. I gave it a try and jumped into the breakaway after a lot of work in the opening kilometres. I wanted to take my chances but, as expected, the teams of the GC contenders controlled the race. Still, I think that all in all it was a good stage and we will try again tomorrow.”

Giro d’Italia Stage 19 Result:
1. Simon Yates (GB) BikeExchange in 4:02:55
2. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:11
3. Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:28
4. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain Victorious at 0:32
5. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech
6. Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-up Nation at 0:42
7. Daniel Martinez Poveda (Col) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:49
8. Koen Bouwman (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 1:25
9. Tobias Foss (Nor) Jumbo-Visma
10. Romain Bardet (Fra) DSM.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 19:
1. Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) INEOS Grenadiers in 81:13:37
2. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain Victorious at 2:29
3. Simon Yates (GB) BikeExchange at 2:49
4. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech at 6:11
5. Hugh Carthy (GB) EF Education-Nippo at 7:10
6. Romain Bardet (Fra) DSM at 7:32
7. Daniel Martinez Poveda (Col) INEOS Grenadiers at 7:42
8. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 8:26
9. Tobias Foss (Nor) Jumbo-Visma at 10:19
10. Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-up Nation at 13:55.

Giro’21 stage 19:


Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious) won Stage 20 of the 104th Giro d’Italia, 164km from Verbania to Valle Spluga-Alpe Motta. Egan Bernal and Daniel Felipe Martinez (INEOS Grenadiers) finished second and third, respectively. Bernal retains the Maglia Rosa and leads the general classification going into Sunday’s final time trial.

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After 30 kilometres nine riders managed to escape the peloton: Dries De Bondt, Louis Vervaeke, Taco van der Hoorn, Simon Pellaud, Giovanni Visconti, Felix Grosschartner, Vincenzo Albanese, Nico Denz and Matteo Jorgenson made up the break of the day. In the run-up to the Passo San Girardino, they took 5 minutes. Surprisingly, Trek-Segafredo took up the chase. The early escape split on the Passo San Girardino. Vervaeke and Grosschartner attacked, they were joined by Albanese, Pellaud and Visconti. With a lead of just 1 minute, they crossed the top of the climb. Trek-Segafredo, BikeExchange and DSM were chasing. On the descent Chris Hamilton, Michael Storer and Romain Bardet (all DSM) split from the peloton, followed by Pello Bilbao and Caruso. When the lead was at 20 seconds on the peloton, Caruso and Bardet caught the leaders. Hamilton and Bilbao worked hard to get their leaders to the climb in the best time and as fresh as possible. There was no reason to panic for Bernal and Yates as Caruso only had 20 seconds.

Thanks to the work of Vervaeke, who was then dropped, the lead on the penultimate climb grew to 50 seconds as the four started the 20 kilometre descent to Alpe Motta. In the peloton Aleksandr Vlasov attacked on the descent, the Astana-Premier Tech rider had a 10 second lead and split the favourites group. INEOS Grenadiers quickly brought the Russian back and continued to chase the GC riders at the front. Thanks to Jonathan Castroviejo on the descent and Daniel Felipe Martinez on the final climb, the lead of Caruso and Bardet didn’t grow. After Storer and Bilbao had done all they could, Bardet and Caruso had to do it all by themselves, the lead started to shrink again. In the final kilometres it was clear that Bernal’s pink jersey was never in danger. Caruso and Bardet could only fight for the stage victory with 20 seconds in hand with 2 kilometres to go.

Because of Martinez’s fast pace, no one could attack from the chase group. Yates and Almeida couldn’t hang on to Martinez and Bernal a kilometre from the top. At the front, Caruso was giving it all he had. After he dropped Bardet, his lead grew again over the two Colombians. He crowned his second overall place with a fine stage victory. Bernal and Martinez came in around half a minute later.

# See the full ‘PEZ Stage Report’ and photo gallery HERE. #


Stage winner and 2nd overall, Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious): “My move wasn’t planned at all. Sometimes the best things happen by coincidence. A bit of luck is needed as well and in this case, there was a bit of intelligence too. We reacted after DSM’s attack and it was a winning choice. I raced to win because in this profession, you have to try and win. Like Alberto Bettiol, I wanted to win as a tribute to our late agent Mauro Battaglini. I also dedicate this victory to my family, my wife and my kids. Tomorrow I’ll give it all from the recon to the race. I won’t make any calculations. It’ll be a triumphant closing day.”

Maglia Rosa and 2nd on the stage, Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers): “I went through the most challenging moment of my Giro so far on the San Bernardino Pass when Damiano Caruso made his move. I’m happy for him. He came here as a super domestique and he’s racing as a leader for the podium. He has ridden a perfect Giro so far. I hope to be with him on the podium tomorrow but with myself in first place and him second. It’s a 30km time trial so it’s certainly not my specialty. It doesn’t matter if I win by two minutes or one second. The most important thing is to have my name on the trophy.”

3rd overall and 6th on the stage, Simon Yates: “We tried to do something again, the boys did a fantastic job again, as always. The plan was to try something on the second to last climb, but we arrived there and I didn’t have the legs, a bit of fatigue from yesterday maybe, a bit of fatigue from three weeks all coming together. But as always, I did the best as I could and I’m happy with what I did and we finish off with the TT tomorrow. We’re staying focused, it’s only one more day and then we can celebrate a nice podium in Milan.”

KOM, Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R Citroën): “When Laurent Fignon won this jersey (1984), I hadn’t even been born yet. Not too many French riders have won this classification, so I understand this is a real accomplishment. It hasn’t really soaked in yet. I think that will take me a few days. I took the jersey on the 9th stage. But that day I was very disappointed to have been caught within 400 meters of winning the stage. The jersey had not been the goal at all. Then I started looking for places to win points and be patient. I didn’t want to lose it, that’s for sure. I consolidated my hold on it day after day. I had a great day at the front of the race with Andrea Vendrame (winner of stage 12) and from that moment, we were able to race without pressure. I won this jersey in the Vuelta (2019), and I am proud to win the King of the Mountains competition for a second time in my third Grand Tour. I’m starting to have a collection!”

5th on the stage and 8th overall, João Almeida (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “Today was really hard, with some very tough gradients especially on the last climb, but I’m happy with my result and with being there again with the best guys. I did everything that I could and although I came outside the podium, I am satisfied with what I achieved on this stage. I can’t believe three weeks have passed and on Sunday the race will come to an end. I don’t know what’s possible to do in terms of general classification, but I will give my best in the time trial and try to finish the race on a high note.”

Felix Großschartner (BORA-hansgrohe): “I tried to go into the breakaway today and I made it. We worked really well among us, but, unfortunately, the peloton really controlled the race. I think that when we crested San Bernandino our advantage had already dropped to a minute, so it was going to be a very difficult task. I haven’t been feeling very well during this Giro, I suffered quite a lot today as well but, like every other day, I tried to do my best. I managed to stay as long as I could with the GC favourites. It is what it is but I’ll be back.”

Taco van der Hoorn (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “We wanted to be in the breakaway today. Of course, this stage was tailored for climbers, and it’s far from my specialty. But in the end that doesn’t matter because the peloton didn’t leave us a significant margin of manoeuvre. But once again, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux was on the attack, up front. I had a lot of fun today, seeing so much tifosi along the roads encourages us to hope for a possible return to normal in the near future. This is the fourth time that I spent the day at the front, we can say that it is a successful first Grand Tour. There is one day of suffering left with tomorrow’s time trial, and then it will be definitely done!”

Giro d’Italia Stage 20 Result:
1. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain Victorious in 4:27:53
2. Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:24
3. Daniel Martinez Poveda (Col) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:35
4. Romain Bardet (Fra) DSM
5. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:41
6. Simon Yates (GB) BikeExchange at 0:51
7. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech at 1:13
8. Hugh Carthy (GB) EF Education-Nippo at 1:29
9. Lorenzo Fortunato (Ita) eolo-Kometa at 2:07
10. Antonio Pedrero (Spa) Movistar at 2:23.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 20:
1. Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) INEOS Grenadiers in 85:41:47
2. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain Victorious at 1:59
3. Simon Yates (GB) BikeExchange at 3:23
4. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech at 7:07
5. Romain Bardet (Fra) DSM at 7:48
6. Daniel Martinez Poveda (Col) INEOS Grenadiers at 7:56
7. Hugh Carthy (GB) EF Education-Nippo at 8:22
8. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 8:50
9. Tobias Foss (Nor) Jumbo-Visma at 12:39
10. Dan Martin (Irl) Israel Start-Up Nation at 16:48.

Giro’21 stage 20:


Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) won the 104th Giro d’Italia. Wearing the Maglia Rosa the Colombian lifted the Trofeo Senza Fine. Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious) and Simon Yates (BikeExchange) finished second and third. Filippo Ganna (INEOS Grenadiers) won the Stage 21 time trial, 30.3 kilometres from Senago to Milano time trial. Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) and Edoardo Affini (Jumbo-Visma) finished second and third, respectively.


Filippo Ganna posted two impressive split times and looked unbeatable until he had a puncture with 2 kilometres to go and had to change bikes. Despite that, the INEOS Grenadiers rider set the fastest time with 33:48, finishing ahead of Edoardo Affini who was second behind Ganna in the opening time trial, but lost 13 seconds on Sunday. Two battles had been decided on Saturday, the points and the KOM going to Peter Sagan and Geoffrey Bouchard. Another Frenchman hoped for stage victory. Rémi Cavagna was on the right track and was only 18 seconds behind Ganna at the second time check. However, the French champion misjudged a corner and hit the barriers. At the finish, he had lost 12 seconds to Ganna. The battle between the top GC riders mainly focused on the strong time trialists, such as Tobias Foss, João Almeida and Damiano Caruso. Since the differences were significant, there was not much at stake anymore, but there could be changes in the final GC. Almeida, eighth overall, finished fifth in the time trial. He overtook Hugh Carthy and Romain Bardet in the overall standings. Daniel Felipe Mártinez kept Almeida behind him, with a difference of five hundredths of a second.

Aleksandr Vlasov held onto his fourth place on GC. Behind him, Mártinez finished 5th, closely followed by Almeida in 6th. Bardet finished the Giro in 7th place and Carthy in 8th. Tobias Foss took 9th place, Daniel Martin was 10th. Egan Bernal was the last rider to start. He had a lead of 1:59 to defend over Caruso, at the finish he lost only 30 seconds to the Italian. Without taking any risks, the Colombian was able to finish in Milan and take the overall victory. On the podium in Milan, Bernal was joined by Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious) and Simon Yates (BikeExchange).

# See the full ‘PEZ Stage Report’ and photo gallery HERE. #

giro21 tt ganna

Stage winner Filippo Ganna (INEOS Grenadiers): “With the puncture, we spiced up the race! Thanks to the team though, I got a fast bike change. It’s the icing on the cake to bring this second time trial win at home along with Egan’s Maglia Rosa. Three weeks of racing bring a lot of suffering but when your captain raises their arms up in the air on the last day, it already makes you look forward to 2022. As a domestique, it’s our second win out of two Grand Tours after last year’s Giro, it’s a similar achievement to Gianni Moscon who has five out of five. Last year, Tao [Geoghegan Hart] took the Maglia Rosa on the last day whereas this time, Egan took it early so we had to work much more at the front of the peloton. Having said that, I’ve also enjoyed sharing the moment with many more fans on the road side than last year. It’s been a wonderful three weeks.”

Final overall winner, Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers): “Winning the Giro puts me in a wonderful situation. I’m quiet but inside, I feel an explosion of happiness. Nowadays I’m riding at an excellent level that enabled me to win the Giro but I have to keep my feet on the ground. There are other riders who are also very strong. Thanks to them I’ll find some fresh motivation for the future. The most difficult moment of the Giro was yesterday when Caruso rode away. I had five teammates around me but suddenly they were down to just three. Luckily Jonathan Castroviejo made the right decisions at the right time. The most beautiful moment of the race came from riding strongly on the gravelled roads to Montalcino. Today, listening to the voice of my coach [Mikel Artetxe] during the time trial was another beautiful moment. I’ll remember it in the years to come. My team manager Dave Brailsford also has played a big part in this victory. I went through difficult times after I won the Tour de France. With this Giro, I have again found what I was aiming for.”

2nd overall, Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious): “It’s my first time on the podium of a Grand Tour and it is a beautiful feeling. This podium may not have been foreseeable at the start because we had other plans, but day after day the awareness dawned on me that I might be able to do something big, and today I’m here celebrating this podium. Today, it was only right to prepare to ride the stage and finish it to the best of my abilities and with complete commitment, as I have all the way through the past three weeks. I wanted to do well. I didn’t think of the gap, I just thought about pushing as hard as I could, and now I’ll celebrate. We’ll see what comes next. We’ll enjoy this moment and then think about the future.”

3rd overall, Simon Yates (BikeExchange): “I am proud of what I accomplished here. I have no regrets. Those guys showed day in, day out that they were better, so I can only be proud of what I did. I had some small problems at the start but then I could really show myself in the third week, but I also paid for my efforts yesterday. Yesterday I was not as good as my stage win, but as I have said before you have to be good for the full three weeks. I did my best every day, the days in the cold, the body didn’t respond as well as I wanted it to but that is one of those things, you have to deal with bad days and bad moments and that is how you go on to win the race. Egan did that successfully on numerous days.”

4th overall, Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana-Premier Tech): “Honestly, I am quite happy with my performance here at the Giro d’Italia. I mean it was my first Grand tour where I came fully focused for the result as a 100% leader of the team and I was able to finish fourth, really close to the podium. The final podium would be a super success for me, but anyway the result I’ve got here in Italy brings me a lot of motivation and satisfaction. Together with our team we spent three great weeks at the Giro and lived many good moments. With the experience I got here I know I can move further ahead.”

2nd on the stage, Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “It’s a real pity. I did a very good time trial, but I took the last turn full gas, as I forgot about it, and went down. I got back on my bike, but there was nothing more to do at that point, so it’s really frustrating, as I felt there was a chance for me to win today. On the other hand, I can’t say I am disappointed finishing second, as I gave everything out there.”

3rd on the stage, Edoardo Affini (Jumbo-Visma): “I am very happy with what I showed this Giro. It’s my first full grand tour and I am satisfied with two second places and a third place. It was a very beautiful experience. In addition, I gave myself completely for the team every day, so as a result I didn’t have the greatest legs anymore today. I gave it my all, but Ganna is just too strong for the time being. He is the world champion after all. I will do everything I can to keep improving in the coming years and definitely also in this discipline. And, who knows, one day I might beat Ganna.”

5th on the stage and 6th overall, João Almeida (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “Despite arriving here after three hard weeks, I felt quite good and was focused on doing a good ITT, and I’m content with the result, especially on a flat course like this. Sixth overall is a very good result and I’m happy to be back in the top 10 after last year’s edition. Overall, it was a good Giro d’Italia for me, a race where I learned a lot and where I could see the improvements I have made in the big mountains, where I could stay with the real climbers.”

Points competition winner, Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe): “I’m very happy and proud to step on the final podium in Milan, wearing the ciclamino jersey of the Giro d’Italia. It has been a dream of mine for many years and I am delighted to see it come true today. I’d like to thank the race organisers, the incredible Italian public that was back on the roads cheering for us and all my teammates for their work in these three tough weeks of racing.”

KOM, Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R Citroën): “It’s wonderful to live through moments like this. I appreciate the moment more than at the Vuelta, I was very tense then. Here, I’m very relaxed and happy. Perhaps, I have one or two technical things missing compared with other riders because I turned pro very late, but my physical qualities allow me to shine in this category over three weeks. Twice I’ve been able to compete in the mountains competition. It’s a real achievement. I’m super happy. It’s a classification I’ve dreamed about since I was a child.”

Giro d’Italia Stage 21 Result:
1. Filippo Ganna (Ita) INEOS Grenadiers in 33:49
2. Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:12
3. Edoardo Affini (Ita) Jumbo-Visma at 0:13
4. Matteo Sobrero (Ita) Astana-Premier Tech at 0:14
5. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:27
6. Maximilian Walscheid (Ger) Qhubeka Assos at 0:33
7. Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education-Nippo at 0:34
8. Jan Tratnik (Slo) Bahrain Victorious at 0:42
9. Gianni Moscon (Ita) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:44
10. Iljo Keisse (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:47.

Giro d’Italia Final Overall Result:
1. Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) INEOS Grenadiers in 86:17:28
2. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain Victorious at 1:29
3. Simon Yates (GB) BikeExchange at 4:15
4. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech at 6:40
5. Daniel Martinez Poveda (Col) INEOS Grenadiers at 7:24
6. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
7. Romain Bardet (Fra) DSM at 8:05
8. Hugh Carthy (GB) EF Education-Nippo at 8:56
9. Tobias Foss (Nor) Jumbo-Visma at 11:44
10. Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-up Nation at 18:35.

Giro’21 final stage 21:


Critérium du Dauphiné 2021
At 23 years old, Brent Van Moer has already experienced pain and glory on the roads of the Critérium du Dauphiné. The young Belgian talent from Lotto Soudal claimed an impressive solo victory on Stage 1 of the 2021 edition, a few months after he crashed out of the 2020 Dauphiné on the very first day. Vant Moer went for the early breakaway, summited first the different climbs around Issoire and eventually dropped all his companions to ride to victory ahead of the raging bunch led by Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Victorious) and Clément Venturini (AG2R Citroën). What a way to claim his first professional victory, along with the yellow and blue jersey, the white jersey, the polka-dot jersey, the green jersey and the first combativity award in the history of the Dauphiné!


The 147 riders participating in the 73rd Critérium du Dauphiné take the start under the Sun in Issoire. After 5km of battle, the Austrian Patrick Gamper (BORA-hansgrohe) gets away from the bunch and three more attackers join him at the front: Brent Van Moer (Lotto Soudal), Ian Garrison (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) and Cyril Gautier (B&B-Vital Concept). The four leaders open a 4 minute gap at km 28. Alexander Kristoff’s UAE Team Emirates and Sonny Colbrelli’s Bahrain Victorious are the first teams to react in the peloton. But the breakaway companions push their advantage: 5 minutes atop the first ascent of the day, côte de Bergonne (km 65.7), where Brent Van Moer collects his first KOM point on his way to claiming the first polka-dot jersey of the Dauphiné.

The first yellow and blue jersey also attracts lots of ambitions and Trek-Segafredo also work at the front of the bunch but their leader Mads Pedersen struggles in the first ascents of the day. Ian Garrison is dropped from the breakaway and the peloton catch him as they cross the finish line for the first time (km 107.7) with a gap of 4:30. At the front, Van Moer keeps chasing the KOM points and summits the different climbs ahead of his remaining companions. With 7 points under his belt after the second Côte du château de Buron – Col de la Croix des Gardes sequence, he is set to take the first polka-dot jersey if he reaches the finish without trouble… In the 2020 Dauphiné, the young Belgian already went for the first breakaway and he crashed out of the race during stage 1.

The leading trio hold on to a 3:05 advantage as they enter the final 37.1km lap. Van Moer proves again to be the strongest on the climbs and goes solo inside the last 15km while UAE Team Emirates lose their options with Brandon McNulty (mechanical) and Alexander Kristoff (dropped in the final climbing sequence). Other sprinters can’t keep up like Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck – Quick-Step). Van Moer maintains an advantage of 50’’ over the top of the final climb, with 12km to go. He still leads by 0:38 as he enters the last kilometre. More than enough to fend off the bunch and claim an impressive maiden victory.


Stage winner and overall leader, Brent Van Moer (Lotto Soudal): “I almost can’t believe it. My first professional victory and immediately in this way and with the leader’s jersey on top of it… After what happened at the Ronde van Limburg, where I was about to fight for my first pro victory but got sent into the wrong way at the end, I was really disappointed but I immediately shifted focus towards the Dauphiné. I was really eager to show that I am able to finish off a race. The fact that I can already do this at the Dauphiné, amongst this strong field of riders, is just fantastic. What a difference compared to last year, when I was also part of the early breakaway but had to abandon the race due to a crash. It is really special to be now wearing the yellow jersey. We absolutely wanted to be part of the early breakaway. At first, I was a bit disappointed that we were only with the four of us, but as I could take several KOM points along the way, I was already sure of a trip to the podium. This took the pressure a little bit off, but I knew that maybe a lot more was possible. From the team car, I was told to go all out from the final climb and when I had 50 seconds advantage atop the final climb, I knew that – with most of the final kilometres downhill – the stage victory was possible. But only when I got into the final three kilometres, I was sure of it. As a team, I think we have shown that with racing aggressively, you can go really far. We also form a really solid team. I remain really careful what defending the leader’s jersey concerns. We have a really tough Dauphiné in front of us and I’ll take it day by day whether I can defend any of my jerseys. But I will definitely fight for them and then we’ll see where that takes me.”

2nd on the stage and overall, Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Victorious): “It was a good opportunity today. Unfortunately, we were down one rider (Eros) to pull and close the gap to the breakaway. Tomorrow is another day and a good stage for me, along with stage three and five. So for sure, I will try to take a stage win. A big thank you to the team for their support today.”

6th on the stage and 7th overall, Nils Politt (BORA-hansgrohe): “I felt well during the day and at the end we decided that I give it a go. Patrick and Pösti positioned me really well, but after the last corner I was too much outside and couldn’t launch my sprint immediately. Still, I am happy with the result.”

Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 1 Result:
1. Brent Van Moer (Bel) Lotto Soudal in 4:13:00
2. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain Victorious at 0:25
3. Clement Venturini (Fra) AG2R Citroën
4. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
5. Kaden Groves (Aus) BikeExchange
6. Nils Politt (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe
7. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) INEOS Grenadiers
8. Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
9. Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
10. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar.

Critérium du Dauphiné Overall After Stage 1:
1. Brent Van Moer (Bel) Lotto Soudal in 4:12:49
2. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain Victorious at 0:30
3. Clement Venturini (Fra) AG2R Citroën at 0:32
4. Patrick Gamper (Aut) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:33
5. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo at 0:36
6. Kaden Groves (Aus) BikeExchange
7. Nils Politt (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe
8. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) INEOS Grenadiers
9. Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
10. Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech.

Critérium du Dauphiné’21 stage 1:


Thüringen Ladies Tour 2021
Stage 3 of the international Lotto Thuringia Ladies Tour was won by Lucinda Brand. The Trek-Segafredo rider beat Emma Norsgaard and Lotto Kopecky in Schleiz. The Danish rider, Norsgaard remains the overall leader.

The third stage was 116 kilometres long and went into the Thüringer country-side. The stage went mainly west from Schleiz and the riders had a climb to cross three times. The top of the last slope was 15 kilometres from the finish. An early escape with Kirsten Wild (CeratiSit-WNT), Caroline Andersson (HITEC Products) with Lydia Ventker and Helena Bieber (Team RSG). The peloton wasn’t too interested and so the lead went up to 8 minutes. With good 7 kilometres to go, Wild, the last survival of the early break was caught. Then there was an attack by Lucinda Brand and Liane Lippert. These managed to take a maximum lead of 25 seconds, but the chasing group was getting closer in the final kilometres. Lippert was pulled in, in view of the port. Brand, on the other hand, was strong enough to hold off the chase and record a beautiful victory for Trek-Segafredo. Norsgaard, the winner of the opening stage to Schmölln, was second. Kopecky came across the line ahead of Amy Pieters and Emilia Fahlin. Norsgaard is still in charge in the overall, Brand is the new number two.


Stage winner, Lucinda Brand (Trek-Segafredo): “Just before the last kilometre, I attacked Liane because the group was so close behind, and I couldn’t wait longer. I Just had to get through the pain and keep on fighting. It was really tough and close, but I am really happy that I could finish off the work of the team. Not the yellow jersey yet, but we still have some days to try and get that one, and we are going to fight for that!”

Thüringen Ladies Tour Stage 3 Result:
1. Lucinda Brand (Ned) Trek-Segafredo in 3:18:52
2. Emma Norsgaard (Den) Movistar at 0:02
3. Lotte Kopecky (Bel) Belgium
4. Amy Pieters (Ned) SD Worx
5. Emilia Fahlin (Swe) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
6. Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Ceratizit-WNT
7. Kristen Faulkner (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
8. Liane Lippert (Ger) DSM
9. Elizabeth Deignan (GB) Trek-Segafredo
10. Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Canyon-SRAM.

Thüringen Ladies Tour Overall After Stage 3:
1. Emma Norsgaard (Den) Movistar in 9:00:24
2. Lucinda Brand (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 0:06
3. Lotte Kopecky (Bel) Belgium at 0:12
4. Amy Pieters (Ned) SD Worx at 0:22
5. Liane Lippert (Ger) DSM at 0:23
6. Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Canyon-SRAM at 0:25
7. Elizabeth Deignan (GB) Trek-Segafredo at 0:27
8. Kristen Faulkner (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank at 0:29
9. Emilia Fahlin (Swe) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope at 0:30
10. Audrey Cordon Ragot (Fra) Trek-Segafredo at 0:41.

Thüringen’21 stage 3:


Stage 4 of the Thüringen Ladies Tour went to Lotte Kopecky. The Belgian rider of Liv Racing, riding for the Belgian team in the German race, was the strongest in Dörtendorf on a finish for puncheurs. Lucinda Brand crossed the line second and is the new overall leader.

In the fourth stage, the race was sent up the Dörtendorfer Berg four times, a climb of 1.2 kilometres at 8% with a peak at 16%. From the start, the pace in the race was high, making it difficult for the attackers to get away. On the second lap, a leading group with eleven was formed. Canyon-SRAM (Ella Harris and Lisa Klein) and Arkéa (Typhaine Laurance and Gladys Verhulst) along with Julie Leth, Anna Henderson, Clara Copponi, Kristen Faulkner, Janneke Ensing and Svenja Betz. The eleven took 2:30 on the peloton. On the second climb of the Dörtendorfer Berg, Henderson and Faulkner rode away from the leading group, but on the third lap the dropped escapees rejoined the two leaders. At the start of the last lap, with 26 kilometres to go, the break still had a 0:50 lead. Faulkner attacked again on the last lap, but everything came together. The early break lasted a long time and it was only on the final climb that a thinned peloton was able to catch the remaining attackers. In the uphill sprint Lotte Kopecky was the strongest. Lucinda Brand, yesterday’s winner of the third stage, finished second and took over the overall lead from Emma Norsgaard.


Stage winner and 2nd overall, Lotte Kopecky (Belgium): “It was a hard day with quite a big breakaway that had danger riders in it for the GC. So as a team we took control, and they rode awesome. We got the break back just before we entered the final climb, and then it was all up to me. I just fought all the way, I left it all out there, but it was not just enough for the win. But I think we can be really proud. GC is extremely tight now, but we are going to fight for it, and we will show more tomorrow.”

Thüringen Ladies Tour Stage 4 Result:
1. Lotte Kopecky (Bel) Belgium in 2:29:43
2. Lucinda Brand (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
3. Liane Lippert (Ger) DSM
4. Emilia Fahlin (Swe) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
5. Marta Cavalli (Ita) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope at 0:06
6. Emma Norsgaard (Den) Movistar
7. Amy Pieters (Ned) SD Worx at 0:10
8. Christine Majerus (Lux) SD Worx at 0:16
9. Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Canyon-SRAM at 0:17
10. Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Ceratizit-WNT.

Thüringen Ladies Tour Overall After Stage 4:
1. Lucinda Brand (Ned) Trek-Segafredo in 11:30:05
2. Lotte Kopecky (Bel) Belgium at 0:04
3. Emma Norsgaard (Den) Movistar at 0:08
4. Liane Lippert (Ger) DSM at 0:21
5. Amy Pieters (Ned) SD Worx at 0:31
6. Emilia Fahlin (Swe) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope at 0:32
7. Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Canyon-SRAM at 0:44
8. Kristen Faulkner (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank at 0:53
9. Elizabeth Deignan (GB) Trek-Segafredo at 0:59
10. Christine Majerus (Lux) SD Worx at 1:00.

Thüringen’21 stage 4:


Lucinda Brand won the penultimate Stage 5 of the Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour. The overall leader managed to win the 143.3 kilometre stage starting and finishing in Weimar thanks to a successful attack in the final kilometres. Six seconds behind Brand, Lorena Wiebes (DSM) sprinted to second place ahead of Emma Norsgaard (Movistar).

A day after storming the legendary Hankaberg, it was time for the longest stage of the Thüringen Ladies Tour. The continuously undulating course consisted of two circuits. It started with a large loop of almost 100 kilometres with three climbs. Lisa Klein (Canyon-SRAM), Chantal van den Broek-Blaak (SD Worx) and Sandra Lévénez (Arkéa) formed a leading group early in the race and they came in this order over the first climb of the day after 20 kilometres. The 41-year-old Frenchwoman Lévénez had to drop out at the front not much later. However, Van den Broek-Blaak and Klein kept on pushing. That is, until the peloton came to a closed level crossing, and which the leading duo also had to stop for a while. The two leaders then expanded the lead to a maximum of 3 minutes. The first time the leading duo reached the top of the climb to the village of Hottelstedt, the peloton had already started seriously chasing.

On the first return to Weimar, there was just over 2 minutes of the lead left. Now a lap of just over 40 kilometres was waiting for the riders. And the peloton started to eat into the lead, thanks to the work of the Trek-Segafredo for GC leader Lucinda Brand. For the second passage in Hottelstedt, the two were caught. The peloton was thinned out on the slope and so there was a group of about fifteen riders at the front in the undulating kilometres after the last climb. On the descent towards the line, Brand managed to wriggle free from the other competitors. The cyclocross world champion could not be caught before the finish. Six seconds later Lorena Wiebes, Emma Norsgaard and the rest of the first group crossed the line. Brand not only won the stage, she also cemented her lead in the overall. She still has one stage to go to be the third Dutch rider to win the Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour. Brand has to defend a 20 seconds in the final stage.


Stage winner and overall leader, Lucinda Brand (Trek-Segafredo): “There was one last small bump in the last 5k, and I saw an opportunity to attack and come over Lizzie. They let me go, they couldn’t follow, and I went full, full, full gas down to the finish. It was a hard downhill, I think, but I made it. I am super happy, and after all my teammates’ hard work, it’s great that I could finish it off and make a better position in GC.”

Thüringen Ladies Tour Stage 5 Result:
1. Lucinda Brand (Ned) Trek-Segafredo in 3:55:08
2. Lorena Wiebes (Ned) DSM at 0:06
3. Emma Cecilie Jørgensen (Den) Movistar
4. Alexis Ryan (USA) Canyon-SRAM
5. Anna Henderson (GB) Jumbo-Visma
6. Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Ceratizit-WNT
7. Emilia Fahlin (Swe) Fdj Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
8. Lotte Kopecky (Bel) Belgium
9. Léa Curinier (Fra) Arkea
10. Amy Pieters (Ned) SD Worx.

Thüringen Ladies Tour Overall After Stage 5:
1. Lucinda Brand (Ned) Trek-Segafredo in 15:25:05
2. Lotte Kopecky (Bel) Belgium at 0:17
3. Emma Cecilie Jørgensen (Den) Movistar at 0:18
4. Liane Lippert (Ger) DSM at 0:35
5. Amy Pieters (Ned) SD Worx at 0:45
6. Emilia Fahlin (Swe) Fdj Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope at 0:46
7. Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Canyon-SRAM at 0:58
8. Elizabeth Deignan (GB) Trek-Segafredo at 1:13
9. Christine Majerus (Lux) SD Worx at 1:14
10. Valerie Demey (Bel) Belgium at 1:23.

Thüringen’21 stage 5:


There was Dutch success on the Final Stage 6 of the Thüringen Ladies Tour. Lorena Wiebes was the first to cross the line in the stage around Gotha and managed to win her second stage in the German stage race. The overall victory went to Lucinda Brand.

Lucinda Brand already had two stage victories in the Thüringen Ladies Tour, but was also able to leave the race as the overall winner. The Trek-Segafredo rider was in the best position before the start, but still had to survive the final stage of the German race. Stage six was an undulating course to and from Gotha. Karlijn Swinkels (Jumbo-Visma), Elena Cecchini (SD Worx) and Neve Bradbury (Canyon-SRAM) were ahead of the peloton for a while, but with 8 kilometres to go there was a regrouping. In the last kilometres towards the finish line, the Belgian National team and Movistar, working for Lotte Kopecky and Emma Norsgaard, were on the front. However, the victory went to Lorena Wiebes ahead of Belgian champion Kopecky. For the 22-year-old Wiebes, previously winner in Gera, it is her fifth victory of the season. Brand crossed the finish line safely in sixth place to take the final overall win.


Stage winner and final overall winner, Lorena Wiebes (DSM): “Today we controlled again the race and we had a plan which worked out well. Franziska helped control the break with the Belgian team and then we set up the lead-out. Floortje did the positioning in the downhill then Pfeiffer took the two right corners and Susanne went the next left corner. From there I could do my sprint exactly as I wanted. It was a really good lead-out and a good team effort.”

Final overall winner, Lucinda Brand (Trek-Segafredo): “It was a great week. Heavy, but also very good. I am very happy with such a strong team around me, especially for a stage race in which every second counts and if you have to pay attention to everything. You have to have confidence and stay calm. Then it is also very nice if you have an experienced group around you, who do a lot of work. I’m glad I was able to finish it. Fortunately, no crazy things happened today. It was all about control, and we didn’t even have to be in the lead because other teams wanted a sprint. That was fine and the team kept me safe from the front, especially in the final. That was the most important thing today. We checked the race and had a plan that worked well. Floortje Mackaij ensured good positioning on the descent, after which Pfeiffer Georgi took care of two corners and Susanne Andersen entered the last corner. From there I could do my sprint just the way I wanted. It was a very good lead-out and a great team performance.”

Thüringen Ladies Tour Stage 6 Result:
1. Lorena Wiebes (Ned) DSM in 2:28:28
2. Lotte Kopecky (Bel) Liv Racing
3. Emilia Fahlin (Swe) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope at 0:02
4. Jolien D’Hoore (Bel) SD Worx
5. Alexis Ryan (USA) Canyon-SRAM
6. Lucinda Brand (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
7. Gladys Verhulst (Fra) Arkea
8. Emma Cecilie Jørgensen (Den) Movistar
9. Zsófia Szabó (Hun) Andy Schleck-CP NVST-Immo Losch
10. Anna Henderson (GB) Jumbo-Visma.

Thüringen Ladies Tour Overall After Stage 6:
1. Lucinda Brand (Ned) Trek-Segafredo in 17:53:35
2. Lotte Kopecky (Bel) Liv Racing at 0:09
3. Emma Cecilie Jørgensen (Den) Movistar at 0:18
4. Liane Lippert (Ger) DSM at 0:40
5. Emilia Fahlin (Swe) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope at 0:42
6. Amy Pieters (Ned) SD Worx at 0:50
7. Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Canyon-SRAM at 1:03
8. Christine Majerus (Lux) SD Worx at 1:19
9. Elizabeth Deignan (GB) Trek-Segafredo at 1:26
10. Valerie Demey (Bel) Liv Racing at 1:28.

Thüringen’21 stage 6:


Boucles de la Mayenne 2021
Stage 1 of the Boucles de la Mayenne went to Philipp Walsleben. The German rider of Alpecin-Fenix ​​beat Diego Rubio at the end of the 175 kilometre stage. Walsleben is also the first leader in the French stage race.

The first stage went from Le Genest-Saint-Isle to Ambrières-les-Vallées over three categorised climbs. There was local circuit of 25 kilometres to be ridden twice before the finish on a short hill.

Roger Adrià, Yoann Paillot, Eddy Finé, Maxine Urruty, Diego Rubio and Philipp Walsleben attacked early and formed the break of the day. These six riders took a maximum lead of 5 minutes and worked well together on the way to the finish circuit in Ambrières-les-Vallées. With 35 kilometres to go, the difference to the peloton was still 4 minutes. In the peloton, led by the men of UNO-X and Groupama-FDJ, it was all hands on deck. At 10 kilometres from the line, the break still had 1 minute and this was enough to stay out of the grip of the sprinter’s teams. There was an acceleration from Rubio and Walsleben and the Spaniard and German were able to drop the others. The two leaders started the last kilometres together, but Walsleben did not intend to wait for the sprint. The German, who started his career in cyclo-cross, attacked again and rode Rubio off his wheel for his first victory of the season. Arnaud Démare won the sprint from the chasing group at 11 seconds, in front of Kristoffer Halvorsen and Bryan Cquard.


Stage winner and overall leader, Philipp Walsleben (Alpecin-Fenix): “We got a big lead surprisingly. Only Groupama-FDJ rode in the peloton. After a hundred kilometres I believed in my chances. We still had a big lead and I still felt pretty good at that time. It was in the final I had to do something, because at some point not all riders were more willing to work together. I finally managed to ride away with Rubio, a strong guy who drove well on the flat. That was beneficial for me. The final was good for me, since it was quite steep up from 800 to 400 metres from the line. The plan was to attack there, since the last 200 meters were flat again. I knew that in the last kilometre I could play my cross technique, hoping to build a gap. I myself had good legs. It was then a matter of riding to the line. Normally a escape group has a better chance in the coming stages. That it succeeded now is beautiful and I didn’t expect it.”

Boucles de la Mayenne Stage 1 Result:
1. Philipp Walsleben (Ger) Alpecin-Fenix in 3:59:48
2. Diego Rubio Hernandez (Spa) Burgos-BH at 0:07
3. Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 0:11
4. Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) Uno-X
5. Bryan Coquard (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
6. Piet Allegaert (Bel) Cofidis
7. Marc Sarreau (Fra) AG2R Citroën
8. Nils Eekhoff (Ned) DSM
9. Bram Welten (Ned) Arkea-Samsic at 0:15
10. Jon Aberasturi Izaga (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 0:17.

Boucles de la Mayenne Overall After Stage 1:
1. Philipp Walsleben (Ger) Alpecin-Fenix in 3:59:48
2. Diego Rubio Hernandez (Spa) Burgos-BH at 0:16
3. Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 0:22
4. Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) Uno-X at 0:26
5. Bryan Coquard (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
6. Piet Allegaert (Bel) Cofidis
7. Marc Sarreau (Fra) AG2R Citroën
8. Nils Eekhoff (Ned) DSM
9. Bram Welten (Ned) Arkea-Samsic at 0:30
10. Jon Aberasturi Izaga (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 0:32.

Boucles de la Mayenne’21 stage 1:


Arnaud Démare took the sprint at the end of Stage 2 of the Boucles de la Mayenne. In Évron, the French rider from Groupama-FDJ sprinted to victory, Niccolò Bonifazio finished second, Kristoffer Halvorsen third.

Early in the race four men escaped: Žiga Jerman, Stan Dewulf, Ángel Fuentes and Francisco Galván and were joined a little later by Morne Van Niekerk. They took 4 minutes on the peloton, where Alpecin-Fenix ​​controlled for overall leader Philipp Walsleben. When the race got into the hilly section, the lead for the five started to come down. First Bob Jungels and Rasmus Tiller tried to get away from the peloton, later Benoît Cosnefroy also attacked to join the leaders. Jerman was dropped by the break with 85 kilometres to go as was Fuentes a little later. Cosnefroy, Dewulf, Galván and Van Niekerk started the Le Montaigu, the fourth climb of the day, with a 3 minute lead. There Van Niekerk had to let go. In the peloton, more and more teams helped with the chase, including Uno-X and Groupama-FDJ. In the last 40 kilometres, the lead of the three remaining attackers started to decline, but they still held their ground for a long time. Galván ran into problems with five kilometres to go and had to let Cosnefroy and Dewulf go, they were only caught in the last kilometre. Niccolò Bonifazio started the sprint, but Arnaud Démare managed to get past him before the line. Thanks to his stage victory, the French champion jumped to second place overall, behind Walsleben.


Stage winner and 2nd overall, Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ): “Our two guys did a great job. It was going really fast, the gap was going down, the kilometres went by quickly and we knew we would catch them. I had all my guys to do a great sprint and that’s what we did. We took control a bit early but Miles was very strong. We were in the lead at the kilometre-marker and we remained there until the end. Ramon did a very good pull, he took the last turn very fast, Jacopo gave another hard push in the last hundred metres and when I saw that guys were launching their sprint at the right, I opened mine at the left and it was just full-gas until the line. Physically, I was happy with my performance yesterday and the team did their part as well, but you can’t win every time. It’s been five weeks since the whole group has raced for the last time, we are all coming back to racing. We are there to get into the race rhythm but also to get confidence and victories. I take it day by day, today was the hardest stage. If we continue like this and repeat some great sprints, we’ll see where it can lead us…”

Boucles de la Mayenne Stage 2 Result:
1. Arnaud Démare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ in 4:11:32
2. Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) Total Direct Energie
3. Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) Uno-X
4. Jonas Koch (Ger) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
5. Stanislaw Aniolkowski (Pol) Bingoal Pauwels Sauzen WB
6. Piet Allegaert (Bel) Cofidis
7. Matteo Malucelli (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
8. Emiel Vermeulen (Bel) Xelliss-Roubaix Lille Metropole
9. Jon Aberasturi Izaga (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
10. Nils Eekhoff (Ned) DSM.

Boucles de la Mayenne Overall After Stage 2:
1. Philipp Walsleben (Ger) Alpecin-Fenix in 8:11:05
2. Arnaud Démare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 0:12
3. Diego Rubio (Spa) Burgos-BH at 0:16
4. Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) Uno-X at 0:22
5. Piet Allegaert (Bel) Cofidis at 0:26
6. Nils Eekhoff (Ned) DSM
7. Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) Team Total Direct Energie
8. Marc Sarreau (Fra) AG2R Citroën
9. Bryan Coquard (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
10. Benoît Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R Citroën at 0:29.

Boucles de la Mayenne’21 stage 2:


Arnaud Démare took his second consecutive victory in the Boucles de la Mayenne. The Groupama-FDJ sprinter finished ahead of Craon Kristoffer Halvorsen and Nils Eekhoff at the end of Stage 3. Due to a break in the peloton, the Frenchman also took the leader’s jersey from Philip Walsleben.

The finish line of the 183 kilometre long third stage on Saturday was in the French village of Craon. Although the race profile and the four categorised climbs seemed to indicate a selective stage, it came down to a sprint again. Early in the stage, Tobias Bayer (Alpecin-Fenix), Bryan Coquard (B&B Hotels), Ludovic Robeet (Wallonie Bruxelles) and Jonathan Restrepo (Androni Giocatolli-Sidermec) attacked, but the peloton made sure that their lead was always catchable. At 15 kilometres from the finish, Bayer and Robeert were the last to be caught, after which a few more riders from the peloton went looking for the stage victory, including Italian Alessandro Fedeli, however, he was not allowed any space. In the sprint, Démare was able to thank his Groupama-FDJ team for their generous lead-out by winning again. Kristoffer Halvorsen was second, Nils Eekhoff third. Arvid de Kleijn finished fourth.


Stage winner and overall leader, Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ): “On his roads, Clément put on quite a performance. The breakaway played a bit with us but we managed everything well and Clément worked for two. The road was slightly uphill in the end, it was really not easy. When we crossed the finish the first time, I thought there might be a split with the slightly uphill road and the turns, so I’m not too surprised. We are doing our own race, we’re getting our habits back, we’re gaining confidence, and all is going well. I’ve won several overall rankings already and here’s another one within my reach, so we’ll do everything to pull it off tomorrow.”

Boucles de la Mayenne Stage 3 Result:
1. Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ in 4:18:48
2. Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) Uno-X
3. Nils Eekhoff (Ned) DSM
4. Arvid de Kleijn (Ned) Rally Cycling
5. Stanislaw Aniolkowski (Pol) Bingoal Pauwels Sauzen WB
6. Piet Allegaert (Bel) Cofidis
7. Daniel McLay (GB) Arkea-Samsic
8. Emiel Vermeulen (Bel) Xelliss-Roubaix Lille Metropole
9. Sasha Weemaes (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
10. Jon Aberasturi Izaga (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA.

Boucles de la Mayenne Overall After Stage 3:
1. Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ in 12:29:55
2. Philipp Walsleben (Ger) Alpecin-Fenix at 0:02
3. Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) Uno-X at 0:14
4. Bryan Coquard (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM at 0:18
5. Diego Rubio Hernandez (Spa) Burgos-BH
6. Nils Eekhoff (Ned) DSM at 0:20
7. Piet Allegaert (Bel) Cofidis at 0:24
8. Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) Total Direct Energie
9. Tobias Bayer (Aut) Alpecin-Fenix at 0:26
10. Marc Sarreau (Fra) AG2R Citroën at 0:28.

Boucles de la Mayenne’21 stage 3:


Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) was the best in the Final Stage 4 to Laval on Sunday and also took the final overall win. The break of the day consisted of Ludwig De Winter (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert), Roger Adrià (Equipo Kern Pharma) and Alexandre Delettre (Delko). They never got more than 3 minutes from the peloton, where Groupama-FDJ and Uno-X took control. Later, AG2R Citroën and DSM also helped.

Twelve kilometres before the finish in Laval, the last escapees were caught. On the finishing circuit, the sprinter’s teams took over, after which Démare again showed his fast finish in the sprint. He held off Daniel McLay, Bryan Coquard and Nils Eekhoff at the finish. Only in the opening stage did Démare fail to win, Philipp Walsleben won stage 1, but with his three stage victories and the bonus seconds, Démare managed to beat the German.


Overall and stage winner, Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ): “It was a tough day. For seventy kilometres, the other teams made us suffer. It was a really hard start and the fight lasted two hours before a group finally went. We had to control and try to use our energy well. The rest of the peloton didn’t know if we were going to pull. Eventually, as a rider in the break was thirty-three seconds down on GC, we had to, but if they had been further in the rankings, we might have let it go. It was quite hectic, we suffered a bit on the circuit. We also felt the previous days’ efforts and there was a strong fight for positions. Still, we fought well and we made it. It was close, but we made it. The first goal was to secure the general classification, which we did. The victory is just the icing on the cake. We have the Tour in our sights, that is our main goal. The Boucles de la Mayenne was on our way in order to get ready, gain confidence and pile up victories. It’s done. Now let’s keep going!”

Boucles de la Mayenne Stage 4 Result:
1. Arnaud Démare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ in 4:14:55
2. Daniel McLay (GB) Arkéa Samsic
3. Bryan Coquard (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
4. Nils Eekhoff (Ned) DSM
5. Stanisław Aniołkowski (Pol) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
6. Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) Total Direct Energie
7. Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) Uno-X
8. Jon Aberasturi (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
9. Marc Sarreau (Fra) AG2R Citroën
10. Jordi Warlop (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise.

Boucles de la Mayenne Overall After Stage 4:
1. Arnaud Démare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ in 12:29:55
2. Philipp Walsleben (Ger) Alpecin-Fenix at 0:02
3. Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) Uno-X at 0:14
4. Bryan Coquard (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM at 0:18
5. Diego Rubio (Spa) Burgos-BH
6. Nils Eekhoff (Ned) DSM at 0:20
7. Piet Allegaert (Bel) Cofidis at 0:24
8. Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) Total Direct Energie
9. Tobias Bayer (Aut) Alpecin-Fenix at 0:26
10. Marc Sarreau (Fra) AG2R Citroën at 0:28.

Boucles de la Mayenne’21 stage 4:


lotto soudal
Caleb Ewan Returns to Racing at Baloise Belgium Tour
Following an unexpected and premature abandon at the Giro d’Italia, Caleb Ewan has resumed training. The recovery of his knee injury is going well and his participation at the Tour de France will not be affected. Ewan will resume competition at the Baloise Belgium Tour, which takes place from Wednesday 9 till Sunday 13 June.

“After my abandon at the Giro I was off the bike for a few days but I have resumed training now and everything seems to be going in the right direction. I just hope I didn’t lose too much of my shape because I really needed more race rhythm. That is why I was so disappointed to pull out of the Giro with the ‘maglia ciclamino’ on my shoulders. The plan was to continue for at least another week and trying to reward the team with at third stage victory”, says Caleb Ewan.

“The Baloise Belgium Tour is definitely a good race, as a preparation towards the Tour”, adds Lotto Soudal’s General Manager John Lelangue. “In 2019, Caleb prepared for the Tour de France via a similar run-up with the ZLM Tour now being the Baloise Belgium Tour. Last week, I travelled to Monaco to discuss both the short and long-term planning with Caleb. That went smoothly and we are both optimistic about the Tour de France. If everything falls into place, there should be around seven sprint opportunities where Caleb can go for one or more stage wins.”

“Obviously, the fact that Lotto Soudal currently only has two riders left in the Giro makes me quite unhappy but believe me, so are the riders who had to leave the Giro. Therefore, I am a little frustrated by the criticism from people who are not aware of the problems our riders have faced at the Giro. The fact that we have only two riders left in the race is an unfortunate turn of events. Lotto Soudal is and always will be a team of attackers, which we showed at the Giro and are still showing, even though only two of our riders remain in the race. We will keep on racing aggressively, starting at the Critérium du Dauphiné”, John Lelangue concludes.

Meanwhile, Kobe Goossens – who had to leave the Giro following a crash – has received good news. A scan revealed that Kobe did not sustain any fractures. The 25-year-old Belgian has already resumed training and if all goes well, Goossens will return to racing at the Tour de Suisse.

Caleb Ewan leaving the Giro:


Peter Sagan in Talks with Total Direct Energie
Where will Peter Sagan be next year? The Slovak has been associated with Deceuninck – Quick-Step in recent weeks, but according to the French sports newspaper L’Équipe, Total Direct Energie is also interested in the three-time world champion.

L’Équipe reports that talks are currently underway between the Sagan camp and Total Direct Energy’s team management. Jean-René Bernaudeau’s team is said to have plans to make the step up to the WorldTour and is therefore looking for a new leader.

Specialized, the personal sponsor of Sagan, would like to continue with the Slovakian and would also want to provide Total Direct Energie with bikes. In addition to the French squad, two more teams are interested in Sagan’s services. La Gazzetta dello Sport reports the interest of Israel Start-Up Nation.

31-year-old Sagan is out of contract with BORA-hansgrohe. Both parties are still talking to each other, but the Slovak may be leaving. Patrick Lefevere, the team CEO of Deceuninck – Quick-Step has said that he would not sign Sagan with his entourage.

Where is Sagan going?


Lennard Kämna Extends Contract, But Skips the Tour
Good and bad news for Lennard Kämna: the German rider extended his contract with BORA-hansgrohe for a year, but will probably not ride the Tour de France. Kämna is struggling with an infection and is taking a break.

“After much consultation with my coach and the team, I have decided that I will most likely not participate in the Tour de France this year. A difficult decision that hurts,” said Kämna through his team. He won the stage to Villard-de-Lans last year. “For now, I have postponed my goals and plans for the season until late summer.”

The 24-year-old rider had nevertheless started the season well with a stage victory in the Volta a Catalunya. “After that I had to contend with an infection, which I still had in the Volta ao Algarve. I also had to cancel the altitude training I had planned for the Tour. Maybe I went a bit too fast in the spring and paid too little attention to my recovery.”

At the same time, BORA-hansgrohe announced that Kämna had extended his contract with the team for one year. “I am in the perfect environment here and the past weeks have only confirmed that. We have common goals, which I still love to pursue. Now I first want to get completely fit again.”

Lennard Kämna winning in Catalunya:


Spectator Largely Liable for Collision in De Ronde 2014
Flanders Classics is partly responsible for the collision between Johan Vansummeren and a spectator during the Tour of Flanders 2014. The woman who stood on a traffic island is for the most part liable for the accident, according to the judge seven years after. In 2014 an investigation was opened by the Public Prosecution Service for the liability of the incident. In the Tour of Flanders, Vansummeren crashed into the woman, Marie-Claire Moreels, when he jumped over the street furniture. She hit her head on the curb and was taken to the hospital in a critical condition and still suffers from the incident.

The judge decided that no one was to be prosecuted for the accident. According to the police judge, people are liable. According to the judge, the woman has made a mistake by standing on the traffic island. She has been liable for two thirds. Organiser Flanders Classics, responsible for security on the race, is liable for a third part. The liability is important because it is determined who has to pay the various compensation. It is not yet known whether the parties will appeal to the judgement.

Johan Vansummeren in Flanders:
Johan Vansummeren


Out Now: Unclipped with Giacomo Nizzolo
A new episode of the Team Qhubeka ASSOS podcast – Unclipped – is out now featuring the European and Italian champion, Giacomo Nizzolo.

After a near-decade long wait Nizzolo won his first-ever grand tour stage in Verona at the 104th Giro d’Italia, in a moment he describes as an “explosion of emotion”.

The 32-year-old also reflects on his evolution as a rider in recent years, his future goals and why he will be doing everything to be at the 2021 World Championships in Flanders.

‘Unclipped with Team Qhubeka ASSOS’ is available via all podcasting platforms including:

Apple podcasts

giro21 st13


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